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Cockpit Carryall: Revelate Designs Handlebar Harness Carries Anything

The Revelate Designs Handlebar Harness is a semi-rigid mount designed to carry a wide range of cylindrical objects like tents, dry sacks, fishing gear, or even a bear canister.

Revelate Designs Handlebar Harness(Photo/Laura Killingbeck)
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In 2023, I spent over 8 months camping and riding my bike around the U.S. and Canada. I’d decided to freelance along the way, so I brought my BV500 BearVault canister as a writing desk. (The best writing desks are the ones that also hold your snacks!)

The bear canister was a very useful but bulky desk to stash on my bike. First, I tried stuffing it in a pannier. This worked, but awkwardly. Then I tried tying it to my handlebars with random straps. This worked less well and was even more awkward.

Finally, after months of experimentation, I got my hands on a Revelate Designs Handlebar Harness. This harness was the perfect packing solution for the bear canister and other items I later attached. The harness was rugged, secure, and easy to use. It withstood me and my shenanigans for over 3,000 miles along the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route.

In short: The Revelate Designs Handlebar Harness is a reliable, versatile harness that can haul various gear across demanding terrain. It’s also the perfect solution for bikepacking with a bear canister. Whether pedaling for a few hours or months, this is the only handlebar harness you’ll need.

Revelate Designs Handlebar Harness


  • Harness width 12"
  • Weight 15 oz.
  • Volume Max drybag capacity is 1220 in³ / 20 L
  • Materials EVA composite
  • Weight limit 15 lbs.


  • Can be used with flat or drop bars
  • Super versatile
  • Sturdy and reliable
  • Easy access to carried items
  • Weight limit s higher than many other harnesses


  • Not compatible with cantilever or road style front brakes with a vertical exposed cables
  • Does not come with a dry sack
  • Low riding position will not work for all bike setups. (It hangs 1.5" below the handlebars.)

Revelate Designs Overview

Revelate Designs Handlebar Harness
(Photo/Laura Killingbeck)

Revelate Designs is a legendary bikepacking brand based in Alaska. Its five-person team designs bags to withstand long, rugged, global routes.

The brand’s ambassadors include epic bikepacking racers like Kaitlyn Boyle and Lael Wilcox. While riding last year, I reviewed Boyle’s book, “The Bikepacker’s Guide,” from my bear canister writing desk. And I had the pleasure of cheering Wilcox on as she raced by me to win the Tour Divide.

Revelate Designs makes bags that work well for racers and recreational riders. Its particular emphasis is on long-lasting bags.

Attaching the Revelate Designs Handlebar Harness

Revelate Designs Handlebar Harness
(Photo/Laura Killingbeck)

The Revelate Designs Handlebar Harness arrives in several pieces: the harness, pocket attachment straps, and two mounting blocks.

The video below shows how to attach the blocks and straps to the harness and then secure the harness to your bike. I did this on a roadside in New Mexico. I thought that the Revelate Designs Harness was easy to set up.

Once the harness was attached to my bike, all I had to do was put my gear in it and cinch three straps down. The harness’s robust, grippy texture naturally prevented objects from sliding out laterally.

The harness buckles come with cam locks that keep the straps firmly secured. Revelate Designs sells a buckle repair kit to replace any buckles or locks that break over time.

What Fits in the Revelate Designs Handlebar Harness?

Revelate Designs Handlebar Harness
(Photo/Laura Killingbeck)

The Revelate Designs Handlebar Harness was ideal for securing cylindrical objects. I think most people will use it to carry their tent, sleeping bag, or a dry sack filled with clothes. According to Revelate Designs, you can use this harness to carry fishing gear, a packraft, or even a mini keg. And, of course, I went with the bear canister.

Revelate Designs Handlebar Harness
(Photo/Laura Killingbeck)

One significant advantage of this harness was its 15-pound weight capacity. This is more than many other harnesses on the market. I also found the harness clips to be useful and secure. Once I tightened them, they didn’t loosen, even on rocky terrain. These are two essential qualities for carrying bulky loads.

Revelate Designs Handlebar Harness
(Photo/Laura Killingbeck)

The straps on the harness can also be cinched down to carry smaller objects. Based on the placement of the straps, the gear must be at least 12 inches long. The maximum compatible dry sack capacity is 20 L.

I’m a reckless packer, so my gear needs to be easy to stow and access. I appreciated how easy it was to take my gear in and out of the harness. Accessing my food from inside the bear canister was also easy without taking the harness or canister off my bike.

Bag Compatibility

Revelate Designs Handlebar Harness on a mountain bike
(Photo/Laura Killingbeck)

You can attach just about any cylindrical bag to this harness. I’d recommend something sturdy and waterproof. Revelate Designs sells a 12L dry sack called the Saltyroll, which fits the harness nicely.

My bear canister was a champion on this trip, but unfortunately, a bear eventually mauled it. (You know your writing life is thwarted when a bear eats your desk at night!) The canister prevented the bear from getting my snacks, but it was crushed.

So, for the last week of my trip, I stored my food in a dry sack, which I hung in trees at night. Luckily, the harness worked equally well with my new gear setup. Hopefully, the bear found other snacks.

Revelate Designs Egress Pocket

Revelate Designs Handlebar Harness
(Photo/Laura Killingbeck)

Toward the end of my trip, I also got to test the Revelate Designs Egress Pocket — a waterproof, roll-top handlebar bag designed to work with the harness. I attached the Egress Pocket to my bear canister and later to my dry sack. The Egress Pocket was easy to install, open, or close, and a useful companion to the harness.

Revelate Designs also sells Mountain Feedbags, which are designed to integrate with the harness.

Revelate Designs Handlebar Harness: Final Thoughts

Revelate Designs Handlebar Harness
(Photo/Laura Killingbeck)

The Revelate Designs Handlebar Harness was an ideal packing solution for adventure cycling carrying cylindrical items like tents.

Its versatility was particularly useful in adapting gear choices for different routes, seasons, or personal preferences. The 15-pound weight capacity and secure strapping system made it a great choice for riding with bulky loads. The harness paired seamlessly with the Revelate Designs Egress Pocket and Mountain Feedbags, providing even more storage space and options.

This great quality, durable item handled variable and unique packing chores. This was a “buy once, use it forever” product.

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